Local librarians give their must-read book picks

With wrap-yourself-in-a-blanket-and-cozy-up-with-a-good-book weather here to stay for a while, we asked 10 local librarians for their best recently released recommendation.

"Cinder"

by Marissa Meyer

Young adult science fiction

Jen Hendrickson of Oakwood Public says: "Perfect for someone who enjoys fairy tale fiction, science fiction and apocalyptic fiction all in one. I believe it has been overshadowed by 'The Hunger Games' and the 'Divergent' series but has potential for sci-fi movie on down the road. The first of the 'Lunar Chronicles' series, it follows a lowly girl turned cyborg named Cinder who is adopted by a man who then dies and is left with a mother and two 'sisters' and now treated as a kind of indentured servant."

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"Six Years"

by Harlen Coben

Suspense

Susan McKinney of Swearingen Memorial in St. Joseph says: "Mr. Coben weaves suspenseful tales that keep you on the edge of your seat. Just when you think you have figured it out, he changes direction and leaves you wanting more. He combines a dry witty humor with suspense and makes a novel that you cannot put down."

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"Cute & Cuter"

by Michael Townsend

Children aged 5-8

Tiffanie Bui of Leal Elementary in Urbana says: "For animal lovers and connoisseurs of cute, this story about a puppy competing for attention with a new pet tackles feelings of jealousy and displacement in one cheeky, fun, and yes, very cute comic book."

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"The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion"

by Fannie Flagg

Historical fiction

Lisa Winters of Allerton Public in Monticello says: "Fannie Flagg is a fantastic storyteller. The book has charming characters, a little mystery and intrigue, and a lots of humor. A daughter discovers a secret about her mother's past, which leads her to question everything she thought she knew about her family."

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"The Aviator's Wife"

by Melanie Benjamin

Historical fiction

Deb Newell of Thomas Paine Elementary in Urbana says: "It focuses on the life of Anne Morrow Lindbergh. While Charles Lindbergh was hailed as such a hero, his wife, Anne, was forced into his shadow, although she accompanied him on many of his flights and was actually the first licensed female glider pilot in the U.S."

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"The 5th Wave"

by Rick Yancey

Young adult science fiction

Corinne Hatcher of Champaign Central says: "This post-apocalyptic book, fueled by word of mouth, has not spent more than a couple of hours on our shelves since purchasing it for our library collection. In a novel that is a cross between 'The Passengers,' by James Cook, and 'Ender's Game,' by Orson Scott Card, the heroine Cassie struggles to find and save her brother at the dawn of a fifth wave of destruction brought on earth from an alien species."

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"UnSouled"

by Neal Shusterman

Young adult science fiction

Cynthia Helms of Centennial High School says: "But don't read 'UnSouled' before reading the first two titles in the series — 'Unwind' and 'UnWholly.' This series takes place in a future where medical science and corporate greed converge, and teens between the ages of 13 and 18 can have their body parts harvested for use by others under the guise of social order."

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"The Fault in Our Stars"

by John Green

Young adult romance

Matt Murrey of Urbana High School says: "Though aimed at young adults, it is likely to please adults and young adults. Green manages to avoid clich and sentimentality while writing about two teens with cancer, and in the process he creates a powerful, nuanced and moving love story that should appeal to both women and men. It's a book that's hard to put down."

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"Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table"

by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Biography/Children's

Christine Cahill of Carrie Busey Elementary in Savoy says: "I recommend this book because I am interested in spreading the word about gardening. My husband and I have a small backyard garden and Carrie Busey School has several raised bed gardens. There is nothing healthier than fresh fruits and vegetables picked from your own yard or patio. It doesn't take a lot of space or a lot of money. Just a bit of dirt, water and tender loving care."

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"How the Light Gets In"

by Louise Penny

Mystery

Lynn Schmit of Mahomet Public (above) says: "Tops my list of best books of 2013. Penny writes literary mysteries in which the setting and complex characters are as intriguing as the plot. The Chief Inspector, his agents and the citizens of the village of Three Pines, Quebec, are recurring characters in stories of crime, corruption and murder. I enjoy her books because, while they are of tragedy and evil, they are also of humor and goodness, not to mention fascinating police procedure."

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